Tag: #Agile

Is the Secretary of State for Health revisiting ‘the Spine’ with the desire for a “consistent data platform which would see patient data separated from the application layer?”

Mar 24, 2021 by Ashley Sass

“One of my lessons from the COVID response is that the pulling together of data that previously had been in silos is absolutely critical. Bringing together data that once upon a time, would have only existed in silos, was fundamental to the COVID response.”

Matt Hancock, Digital Health Festival, March 2021

The infamously fated NHS Spine project of the early noughties aimed to provide an entire national cradle-to-grave medical history of patient engagement with the NHS in England and Wales for all citizens. The project failed for several reasons, including poor contract and supplier management, uncontrolled costs, conflicting agendas and unclear objectives. However, the more fundamental reason for this project’s failure was a lack of agreement on who owned the data (the patient, the trust, the NHS, the service providers? Information sharing could not be sanctioned).

The COVID pandemic has demonstrated the strategic importance of a unified understanding of all critical patient care elements across the entire NHS. Providing free movement and sharing data has driven the changes necessary to support initiatives from virtual hospitals, rapid vaccine development and deployment, and patient tracking.

The UK government’s perspective on the importance of data within NHS operations makes an interesting read.  The critical areas for improvement to drive the NHS forward were explored recently by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in his speech to the Digital Health Rewired Festival. His perspective is summarised in an article published in Digital Health in March’ 21(see below). The importance of Data lies at its heart.

Broadly, the Minister addresses 5 key themes. These break down as:

  1. Digitise (the fundamentals of) the NHS: Ensure that everyone can participate and get the basics right.
  2. Connecting the Systems: Data needs to flow appropriately and freely across the organisation and it’s extended networks (suppliers, partners, etc.) In this way, the intrinsic benefits that high-quality data and interoperability are provided.
  3. Establish New Digital Pathways and Improve Patient Experience:  Digital technologies are not “nice to have”. Used correctly, digital technologies are transformative.  The last 12 months have helped reshape health and care provision in the UK, turning traditional health and care models on their head. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust didn’t just set up a virtual ward to manage patient care. They set-up a virtual hospital – they managed around 1,200 patients at home.
  4. Building for the Future: Work in an agile manner, deliver quickly and allow for asset re-use to optimise efficiency. Consider Information Governance, Collaboration and commonality between organisations so that information can be easily shared, compared and used, creating a focus on patient safety. It needs to be easier to write applications or create services that interact with data from different NHS organisations. Considering Information Governance needs, separating the data layer from the application layer removes a significant barrier to innovation. Software providers can offer the application software, but the data will be stored separately and securely in the cloud, facilitating a consistent data platform across the NHS.
  5. Make it Easy for People to Do the Right Thing:  Give people the confidence to drive changes where they work. Much was done during the pandemic to simplify information guidance, reducing it to one page of clear advice, letting clinicians share data with confidence.  Keeping the language simple and process clear ensured that it was easy to use on the front line, working with data in a safe, appropriate, and easy to maintain.

More detail can be found in the article below from Digital Health.

A fascinating read:

Agile data warehouse development

Jun 5, 2020 by Carl Richards

Agile data warehouse development

One of the most common problems we are approached to resolve is agile data warehouse development. Clients understand the importance of data and building the right data platform to service their businesses needs. Delivering a new or amending a platform at pace is one of the keys in providing true flexibility and enabling change within organisations.

Engaging Data has built data solutions using our three pillars principles – people, process and technology. With a highly-skilled development and consultancy teams, we provide real added value to our clients.

Technology – Picking the right tool for the job

Quick and nimble!

Fantastic partners like WhereScape, enable us to build data platforms in days. Imagine, within the first few days of starting development, the business will have a data platform that they can start interrogating. WhereScape RED allows you to continue developing and amend your data platform without any complications. RED offers several data platform solutions allowing you to choose the right solution for your business.

If you are planning a project to create or alter a data warehouse, data lake, data vault or a combination of all of these, allow us to show you the power of data automation using WhereScape.

Do not just take our word for it, have a look through what our clients are saying.


Having the right team

Our services will help will all aspects of data solutions. From the development of a data platform, data model design and visualisation to day to day solution support.

Our design process uses the BEAM (Business Event Analysis & Modelling) methodology. This approach alongside WhereScape 3D provides a quick and effective data platform from the source system to report or visualisation.


Having the right process for your company

Our support services offer a wide range of support levels that give comfort and peace of mind at a cost-effective price.

Achieve the goals you have set out for your data project with our experienced team who can help with your data strategy, governance and SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) processes.


Keep everyone up to date with the latest thinking and methodologies – don’t be afraid to change or try new ideas!

We provide training and support for your data platform & can arrange bespoke training courses for all WhereScape products. In our experience, learning a new tool using familiar data, makes the topic more digestible.

If you would like to read more about WhereScape RED and 3D, please click here.

Looking for help with geo-relational or mapping data. Read more about our partnership with the Ordnance Survey and the products they offer.

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